Anxiety Help!

Anxiety helpIf you’re feeling more anxiety than usual right now, you’re not alone. Many of our clients are reporting feelings of anxiety that interfere with relationships, work, and sleep. It’s a natural and common response to this pandemic and the uncertainty that comes with it. It’s further amplified when our stress-relieving activities like social gatherings and weekend getaways, are not options. Here are some activities, approaches, and natural health supplements that might help you get through the next few months with less anxiety, more energy, and a greater appreciation for our inherent human resiliency and adaptability.


When do you feel anxious?


Many people immediately consider traditional triggers like the overwhelm of work-at-home expectations or conversations with certain family members. But feelings such as anxiety also fluctuate with hormones, which work on a circadian rhythm (they fluctuate throughout the day and month). For many people, hormone balance is key to a balanced mood:


  1. Blood sugar lows (hypoglycemia) triggers anxiety in some people. This can be especially true for people who feel anxious when they first wake up in the morning or late in the afternoon, hours after a meal. It can also happen quickly after eating a sugary treat. The solution usually involves careful attention to healthy fats and proteins in the diet.


  1. Many women feel heightened anxiety at ovulation (middle of their menstrual cycle), and as a PMS symptom (a few days before bleeding starts). Perimenopause and early menopausal years are also charged with unexpected feelings of anxiety as progesterone levels fluctuate. Sometimes just knowing that your heightened anxiety will only last as long the relevant stage of your menstrual cycle, helps. (And if balancing hormones is on your agenda, we can do that too.)


  1. Histamine is a stimulating hormone and neurotransmitter that goes up in response to many things, including air-borne and food allergies. High histamine levels can make you feel dizzy, your heart pound in your chest, and cause insomnia. Some people say that it feels like a panic attack. These people tend to feel better when using a HEPA air purifier to remove dust and mold particles and when consuming a low-histamine diet. (Testing for inhalant and food allergies and intolerances is available to naturopathic patients.)


What can you do about anxiety right now?


  1. I rarely write about products, but this one deserves particular attention: Lavender essential oil capsules have been well-researched for their ability to calm anxiety and encourage sleep. A review of multiple research studies concluded that it was just as effective and sometimes more effective than Paxil and Lorazepam, which are pharmaceuticals commonly prescribed for anxiety.*


  1. Breathe! I know that sometimes this advice sounds dismissive for someone experiencing intense anxiety, but breath work is really quite complex and effective! Deep, rhythmic inhalations with slow exhalations tell the body that there’s no threat (i.e. it triggers the vagus nerve, which is a critical part of the rest-and-digest nervous system). I see this work in real-time with patients on my Heartmath Heart Rate Variability I’ve also noticed that people with “breathing pattern disorders” are more likely to experience fluctuating moods, brain fog, and fatigue. (Test your breathing pattern at home with our Physiotherapist’s “sniff test”, here.)


  1. Breathwork is also an essential component of various yoga and meditation practices. These traditional practices inherently apply a variety of mechanisms that keep our fight-or-flight nervous system in balance with our rest-or-digest state (i.e. it’s not just about “relaxing”). There are many free options online to choose from, including by our very own Amber. (Ask your practitioner for recommendations if you’re not sure which direction to go in.)


If you’re struggling, please come talk with us. Our Psychologist, Dr. Jody, whose focus is on people experiencing high levels of stress and anxiety, is available for online consultations. We also have plenty of health professionals on our team who address anxiety triggers, such as pain, insomnia, and fatigue. If ever there was a time to do things differently – now is it!


*Just like pharmaceuticals, all natural health products can have drug interactions and side-effects, so please speak with someone knowledgeable about this before you try them. And if you’re going to experiment on your own, please be wary of symptoms that reflect more serious health concerns and carefully consider when it’s time to speak with a health professional.



Yap WS, Dolzhenko AV, Jalal Z. et al. Efficacy and safety of lavender essential oil (Silexan) capsules among patients suffering from anxiety disorders: A network meta-analysis. Sci Rep. 2019; 9(18042). doi: 10.1038/s41598-019-54529-9.

Müller WE, Sillani G, Schuwald A, et al. Pharmacological basis of the anxiolytic and antidepressant properties of Silexan®, an essential oil from the flowers of lavender. Neurochemistry International. 2021; 143 (104899). doi: 10.1016/j.neuint.2020.104899.

Mental health

Dr. Sonya Nobbe, ND

Dr. Sonya Nobbe is a Naturopathic Doctor and Director of Kingston Integrated Healthcare Inc. She has been practicing in the Kingston area since 2007. Dr. Sonya maintains a family practice, with a clinical focus on complex chronic disease, including Lyme disease and Fibromyalgia.


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